THE 2007 BEAGLE AWARDS
Whilst scouring through some old articles, I stumbled upon one from January 2007 entitled The 2006 Beagle Awards (click to see), a fun little awards ceremony in which I outline some of the highlights of the past year in poker and allocate my own fabricated awards as if I were Billy Crystal at the Oscars.
Although we seem to be creeping towards February, I feel that The Beagle Awards is worthy of another run, so let me present to you, the class of 2007, now boasting three more categories…
(1) HIDEOUS PHOTO OF THE YEAR
Winner = Phil ‘Snatiramas’ Cooklin
Last year’s winner = Simon Trumper
Sometimes in horror films, the scariest parts of the bits you don’t see, and although Simon Trumper triumphed last year with his shock display of buttock flesh, we can only wonder with a great sense of intrigue what (1) is lurking beneath the shirt (2) why Phil would deem it necessary to cover in the first place and (3) why he appears to be more scared than us. He may be Luton’s answer to Brad Pitt when it comes to eye candy for the ladies, but to us heterosexual males, this image can only conjure up unwanted memories of waking up after a heavy night out, glancing to one side and thinking, “Gosh, those lights sure were dim in there.”
(2) HAIRSTYLE OF THE YEAR
Winner = Gary ‘The Choirboy’ Jones
Last year’s winner = Olabode ‘Buddy’ Ayegun
As a part-time commentator, Gary Jones has never been the quietest chap in town, but during the Summer of 2007, it appeared as though his physical appearance had also been cranked up a notch or two as the Choirboy donned bright green hair at the inaugural WSOPE.
With a naturally pale face and a hair colour as green as green green grass of home, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The Joker had cut down on the pies and took up poker. But fear not, there was a logical explanation to the absurdity, and one which was highly commendable. Protesting on behalf of global warming, Gary’s hair was a vivid show of support for the cause and a constant reminder of how big the problem is.
(3) NORKAGE OF THE YEAR
Winner = Dena
Last year’s winner = the Doylesroom Girls
Dena has been milling around the world of poker for many a year now, but much like a fine wine, she has matured with age, becoming juicier and fruitier as the years pass. Never is an update free of requests for the dealer come tournament director extraordinaire, and updaters are usually equally keen to oblige the salivating blonde viewers. She may lack the sword and skimpy body armour (one can only dream), but Dena: Poker Princess is surely the best thing to come out of Luton over the last few years.
Winner = Andrew ‘AndrewT’ Tracey
Last year’s winner = Curtis ‘Sheriff Fatman’ Ledger
As voted for by the esteemed members of blonde poker forum, the familiarly dry wit of Mr T takes it down with his gem of a caption for Messieurs Gosney and Kendall.
(5) ARGH!!! OF THE YEAR
Winner = Gordon Brown
Last Year’s Winner = H.O.R.S.E Final
With us Brits chuckling away to ourselves as the American’s continue to struggle against their online poker ban and the foreboding implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, little did we know that newly instated prime minister Gordon Brown would be looking to enforce his own backwards views here in Blighty. As a nation that likes to boast liberty with gambling, poker and other such recreations, it was a giant kick in the balls to Manchester when the SuperCasino bill finally met defeat in the House of Lords.
(6) MYSTERY OF THE YEAR
Winner = Vinnie Vinh
Last year’s winner = Jon Hewston’s mystery chip
The Vegas desert is rumoured to conceal its fair share of secrets, but when the unpredictable Vinnie Vinh failed to turn up to Day 2 of a WSOP event, many feared that he might have joined the long line of dead bodies under the sandy surface. Having held the chip lead, Vinnie’s absence led to his chair becoming the first chair in WSOP history to make the money when it finished in 20th place for $16,212, a quite remarkable feat for an inanimate object, although Chris Ferguson may be in the running for that title.
If you thought this was an isolated case, then think again, as not only did Vinnie fail to appear on yet another Day 2, but he also went AWOL come Main Event time and had to be rescheduled onto another starting day. Drugs, gangsters, debts – who knows, but several months on, and the erratic behaviour of Mr Vinh remains a mystery that not even Columbo could unravel.
(7) UK VENUE OF THE YEAR
Winner = Dusk Till Dawn
Last year’s winner = The Broadway Casino, Birmingham
After battling not only the courts, but opposition in the form of the big casino chains, Dusk Till Dawn finally triumphed and was granted permission to open their doors to the public. They may only have been open for a couple of months, but DTD is already regarded as poker’s capital, with superb services, friendly, eager to assist staff and a fine monthly tournament that is comfortably attracting three figure fields. Now, if only they could move it to nearer me…
(8) EUROPEAN VENUE OF THE YEAR
Winner = Hyatt Regency, Warsaw
Last year’s winner = Casino Barriere, Deauville
It may have been expensive, but with spacious rooms, a walk in shower, and pillows that were actually stuffed with feathers rather than cement, it was a joy to stay in the Hyatt Regency in Warsaw. A little gem in what El Blondie described as an ‘urban jungle’, the cardroom was brimming with atmosphere and helped the Polish EPT become one of the most enjoyable events to cover thus far.
(9) TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR
Winner = Irish Poker Open
Last year’s winner = Amsterdam Master Classics
It may not have found its home in terms of venue, but when it comes to ‘the craic’, the Irish Poker Open never lets you down. Whilst Padraig, Jesse and co rejoiced spectators with barside tales, in excess of 700 poker fanatics battled it out for one of the year’s most esteemed prizes.
(10) ONLINE SITE OF THE YEAR
Winner = PokerStars
Last year’s winner = PokerStars
They may be lacking competition from their fellow countrymen, but the PokerStars team continue to dominate the online world with their superior software, excellent customer service and superb range of tournaments. Forever looking to improve and move forward, PokerStars always seem one step head of their rivals, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lapping up this title once again next year.
(11) HAND OF THE YEAR
Winner = Dublin EPT: Mallu vs. Mestre
Last year’s winner = HSP: Hansen vs. Negreanu
To quote a paragraph from a recent Flush article I penned…
“Elsewhere, the ghostly figure of Ali Mallu had returned to haunt his foes once more, the nefarious Brit accidentally revealing his Aces pre-flop before shoving all the chips in against J-9 on a J-9-5 flop. A Five on the river left one Spaniard aghast whilst proving that (1) Mallu was back to his old tricks and (2) this event was going to be much more entertaining than first imagined. “I read him for Aces,” commented a mischievous De Wolfe, much to his own amusement.”
(12) DOH! OF THE YEAR
Winner = TheV0id
Last year’s winner = JJProdigy
Following in the multi-accounting of his award winning predecessor, WCOOP victor TheV0id found himself disqualified from the tournament after it was found that he/she had used multiple accounts to partake in the event. Rumoured to be former EPT winner Mark Teltscher, the $1.3 million was confiscated from TheV0id’s account making the real winner ka$ino, with Vanessa ‘LadyMaverick’ Russo being elevated into second. If I could vote for myself, then surely Null & TheVoid would be a worthy victor of pun of the year?
(13) SCANDAL OF THE YEAR
Winner = Absolute Poker
Ever dreamed of seeing someone else’s cards whilst playing, well now you can, well, someone could. Around September time, rumour was spreading like wildfire that something was amiss at Absolute, and after sightings were reported of players correctly calling bets with ridiculously weak hands, ears began to perk up and investigations were made. Following a series of hazy announcements, it appeared as though it had been an inside job involving people who dealt in the daily running of the cardroom. It then emerged that Ali Mallu had been playing and the case was cleared. Okay, I made that bit up.
(14) CELEBRITY BANDWAGON JUMPER OF THE YEAR
Winner = Boris Becker
If there’s one thing that annoys me, it’s when celebrities jump on the poker bandwagon in search of the dollar without possessing any genuine interest in the game. Now and again we spot players like Tony Cascarino and Michael Greco who are truly passionate about the game, but in general, they’re mostly in it for a quick buck to be earned through easy sponsorship, freebies and ‘celebrity’ (cough) events.
So, considering my disdain for the ugly combination of celebrity and poker, imagine how far my shoulders dropped when I heard news of Boris Becker’s impending sponsorship. A legend in his own right, Boris’ skills at the felt are said to be limited, and I once heard a story in which he boasted of how much he knew about poker, but when he was dealt his cards, subsequently asked, “Where are the other three?”
(15) BLOG OF THE YEAR
Winner = Pauly Maguire: Tao of Poker
Last year’s winner = Ed Hollis: 88% Concentration
There are some cracking blogs out there these days: Hard-Boiled Poker, Wicked Chops Poker, The Hit Squad, UKGatsby, but there is one man’s ramblings that have really stood the test of time.
Highly respected in the States, Dr Pauly’s ‘Tao of Poker’ has been entertaining the poker community for over four years now with its continual dose of ringside observations from the poker circuit. His quirky humour, brutal honesty and natural writing talent make this a must read for all poker fans.
(15) UNSPONSORED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Winner = Ian Cox
Last year’s winner = Stuart Fox
My birth year, 1981, was the year of the cock (shut it, you!), but 2007 truly was the year of the Cox. In just 12 months, Ian cashed 14 times including final table appearances at the London EPT, Plymouth GUKPT, GUKPT Grand Final and the Sussex Masters, as well as televised finals in the Ladbrokes Poker Million and the Party Poker World Open. In fact, the only thing he got wrong this year was a rather suspect moustache and beard combo that emerged near the end, although I’m certainly not in a position to comment.
(16) CRIKEY! OF THE YEAR
Winner = Chip Reese
Last year’s winner = Vicky Coren
There are many moments in poker that leave you aghast, but the passing of Chip Reese on December 4th was one of the most shocking. A legend of his time and considered by many to be the greatest player that ever lived, Chip died peacefully in his sleep from the effects of pneumonia. R.I.P.
(17) BRAVO OF THE YEAR
Winner = Jonathan ‘AlrightJack’ Raab
Last year’s winner = Arshad Hussain
As one of the driving forces behind the GUKPT, Jonathan put British Poker firmly on the map by quickly establishing a popular and well-run Tour that spanned the nation from Newcastle right down to Plymouth. The creator of such innovations like the Poker 6, the Unusual Suspects and praise silence…. the Cheeky Vimto, Jonathan has done his utmost to make this game great and is thus worthy of the plaudits he receives.
(18) WSOP HERO OF THE YEAR
Winner = Jon ‘Skalie’ Kalmar
Last year’s winner = John Gale
In what was a dismal year for Brits at the World Series, one rags to riches story emerged in the form of Jon Kalmar, the former punk rocker having hit rock bottom before taking one final stab at a Main Event satellite. A fortnight later and he’s seated at the final table and wondering what the champagne will be like in first class. Worth the award for being the first player to wear a Family Guy T-shirt at the final table.
(19) RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
Winner = Ben Vinson
Last year’s winner = Zahir ‘Zippy’ Aslam
Son of Alan, Ben is being touted as a star of the future. With a cash in the Cardiff GUKPT, a 3rd in Blackpool and a 4th in the Grand Final, he’s certainly heading in the right direction. A cool cucumber with his pinstripe suits and designer hair-dos, it looks like Ben will be wooing the ladies as well as the cards come 2008.
(20) PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Winner = Julian ‘Yoyo’ Thew
Last year’s winner = Roland De Wolfe
In the provocative words of Britney, “Oops, I did it again.” After a fruitless first six months, Golden Yoyo Balls took the circuit by storm in the second half, taking down a GUKPT and EPT title in quick succession to leave both wallet and wife very happy indeed.
(21) EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Winner = Annette ‘Annette_15’ Obrestad
She may be smaller than an oompa loompa, but she can beat up opponents like Lennox Lewis on speed and has proved that she can successfully translate her ever-blossoming online career onto the live scene. Although finishing 2nd in the Dublin EPT, her crowning achievement was fending off one of the toughest pound for pound fields ever compiled to become the inaugural WSOPE Champion.
And that’s a wrap, folks!
Stick a fork in me...